Seek Justice for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Wayne Counties with DLP’s Experienced Legal Team – Part 2 of ‘Harm’ Investigation at Nursing Homes by The Times-Tribune

nursing home abuse and neglect
Date: October 11, 2023

In a recent investigation by The Times-Tribune, shocking cases of nursing home violations have come to light, leaving many to question the effectiveness of regulatory fines in response to such incidents. Disturbing reports include patients suffering from severe bedsores oozing with pus and even incidents of sexual assault against vulnerable residents with dementia.

Surprisingly, these harrowing violations will not result in fines from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) due to their classification as “minimal” or “non-harmful” to the residents. Richard Mollot, the executive director of the Long-Term Care Community Coalition, explained that fines are typically reserved for instances where residents have experienced “actual harm.” The problem lies in the fact that the definition of “harm” is determined by individual states, which often leaves residents without proper recourse for less clear-cut types of harm.

The Times Tribune reached out to local nursing homes, such as The Gardens at Scranton and Dunmore Health Care Center, for comment, but they declined to provide any statements on these issues.

The prevalence of these so-called “minimal harm” violations is a troubling trend that requires immediate attention. According to The Times, research shows that approximately “95%” of citations across the United States fall into the “minimal harm” category. This alarming statistic highlights the urgent need for both the nursing home industry and state regulators to prioritize the health and safety of their residents.

One significant challenge faced by the nursing home industry is the shortage of inspectors and their reluctance to issue citations due to understaffing, as pointed out by Zach Shamberg, executive director of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association. Mollot and Shamberg call for increased federal oversight to address this critical issue.

We strongly urge families to check on their loved ones residing in nursing home facilities to ensure they are receiving the quality care they deserve. If you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, we encourage you to contact our experienced team of trial lawyers at Dougherty Leventhal & Price, L.L.P. We are dedicated to fighting for justice and ensuring the rights and well-being of nursing home residents. Remember: Injury? Call DLP at (570) C-A-L-L-D-L-P.

Works Cited

Morgan-Besecker, Terrie. ‘Harm’ questioned at nursing homes. The Times Tribune, 13 February 2023, p. A1 and A7.

Sean McDonough
Upon graduation from law school, he entered the private practice of law with Dougherty, Leventhal & Price. He has been a partner with the firm since 1993. Over the years, Sean has concentrated his practice in the areas of personal injury litigation; he has also represented governmental entities and officials in federal civil rights and employment lawsuits. Sean also works on many of DLP's Nursing Home Abuse cases.